February 4, 2019

Romania - Bucharest - The Minovici Folk Art Museum

Despite spending almost eight years in Bucharest, years in which I had a big interest in what we call "arta populara", folk art, I have never ever visited this museum until a few months ago. I knew it reopened in 2017, but I have no idea when it closed for restoration.

As it happened I've visited the museum on my five hours layover in Bucharest so if you happen to have the same, know that you have plenty of time to visit this museum as you will not exactly go inside Bucharest's terrific traffic. The museum is close to Miorița Fountain in the northern part of Bucharest.

If you are Romanian you might have heard of Mina Minovici, he was the founder of forensic research in Romania and the Institute of Forensic Medicine bears his name. Well the Folk Art Museum belonged to Nicolae Minovici, Mina's brother. He was a scientist in his own right and he worked close with his brother.

Although constructed in 1906, the museum first functioned as a private institution (his country home) and the objects were gathered between 1900 to 1941. So a lot of things to see, among others Romanian folk costumes, ceramics, common every day objects or glass painted icons.
I've liked the whole museum and I have to admit that if it were up to me I would have decorated my house in the same way :) but I do not live alone, so...
On the ground floor I've liked the fireplace with ceramic bricks painted with my beloved carnation pattern. Carnation and dark blue... I was smitten. I want one in my house :)
Also on the ground level they have a small collection of peasant attire, from which I've liked this one from Botosani, I think. I would have liked more explanation about those costumes, but that was just me.
Besides costumes the museum has a large collection of ceramic and apparently those are the oldest Saxon plates in Romania.
I've liked Nicolae Minovici's style of decorating the house. Seems that he came to this house when he wanted to get out of the hassle and bussle of Bucharest, to relax and reflect, but to me especially this place spoke about a time best kept forgotten in the past, when young city man would profit from not so well read or cultivated young peasant women. Which gets me to wonder if his real interest in peasant life and folk culture was not a little twisted and he would not profit from his position. We have a saying in Romanian "despre morti numai de bine", speak only in good terms about dead people, well I would not speak well about Nicolae Minovici so let's leave it like that.
Moving on, I liked this room a lot, even with its abundance of objects. For a minimalist, this room must look like hell, but I really liked it. Of course peasant houses would rarely look like that, but apparently Minovici was a collector and the house looks now exactly as it would look like during his life.
I was really impressed about the shapes of the ceramic jugs or plates in Minovici's collection. I've visited this museum after the one in Piatra Neamț so this particular shape made an impression on me.
I must have been a little bit critical about the museum, but know that I've liked it and would warmly recommend you visit it if you are also interested in peasant art. I think the entrance fee is minuscule so you have no reason not to visit.
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